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Apple's new iPad stays firmly ahead of the tablet pack

Melissa J. Perenson | March 8, 2012
Apple takes the tablet lead over the Android masses with its third-generation iPad announced today. Thanks to an impressive hi-def Retinal display coupled with a bounty of iPad-optimized apps, Apple once again has the tablet to beat.

One Android tablet I see coming close (but no cigar) to Apple's new iPad is Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1, introduced at Mobile World Congress last week. This is a great example of a tablet that strives to be a "experiential" tablet, with its option of a stylus pen and inclusion of pen-friendly software. This model, when introduced in the U.S. market, should also have an integrated infrared port for use as a remote control.

Android's Biggest Obstacle Is Android

Bottom line: The Android ecosystem as a whole remains hampered by voluntary implementations, "good" but not "required" development practices, and an inconsistent app universe where apps are not optimized for the big screens of tablets. Android does do some things exceedingly well, as we noted in our recent roundup of The Best Tablet for You, but Google and the Android tablet makers are clearly going to have to double-down to battle Apple's iPad juggernaut.

And it is a juggernaut. Today Apple revealed it has sold 55 million first- and second-generation iPads; and of those, 15.4 million were sold in the last quarter of 2011 alone, and about 30 million of those were sold in the past year.

Apple's current model, the iPad 2, is our number one tablet on the Top 10 Tablets chart.

The new, third-generation iPad is on the far right of this chart. (Graphic by IDG News Service; source: Apple.)

 

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